VANCOUVER B.C. (November 2, 2016) – Creative BC and the Irish Film Board are collaborating to support development of The Gulliver Curse, the first international co-production resulting from Creative BC’s participation in the Canadian Media Producers Association’s (CMPA) November 2015 mission to Ireland. The script development will be partially funded through Creative BC’s Project Development Fund, with writing duties handled by Simon Barry based on an original script by Stephen de Souza, and co-developed by Omnifilm Entertainment (Vancouver) and Subotica Entertainment (Dublin) in association with Veritas Entertainment. Executive Producers on the project include writer/showrunner Simon Barry (Continuum), Alan Gasmer (Vikings), Peter Jaysen (You, Me, Her), Paulo de Oliveira (Outlander), Tristan Orpen Lynch (Miss Julie) and Brian Hamilton (Mech-X4).
“Funding for this co-production was established because of a trade mission to Ireland in November 2015,” said Robert Wong, Vice President, Creative BC and acting BC Film Commissioner. “While Creative BC actively fosters international opportunities for BC companies, The Gulliver Curse will be one of the first co-development projects to receive program funding, acting as a pilot for other agency-to-agency agreements.”
Through this pilot, Creative BC will evaluate co-development success during subsequent filming and post-production phases of the series. Based on results of this investment made through a broader funding program called the Project Development Fund, Creative BC may establish a tailored co-production program that focuses its funding on global collaborations. This would make the international fund the first of its kind in Western Canada.
“British Columbia has established itself as the destination of choice for incoming international film and TV production,” said Prem Gill, CEO, Creative BC. “Likewise, it is essential for us to provide our own BC-based producers, directors and creators the means to leverage their expertise internationally and develop our external networks.”
The Project Development Fund provides non-recoupable advances for BC-based production companies to develop film, television or digital media content. While the current Fund typically covers approximately 50 per cent of the broadcaster and third-party commitment, co-development funding for The Gulliver Curse will explore opportunities as a pilot with a funding cap of $30,000 (matched by the Irish Film Board).
“Ambitious, international co-productions are a key part of Omnifilm’s export-driven development strategy,” confirms Omnifilm partner Brian Hamilton. “We are tremendously excited to be working with this talented team to develop The Gulliver Curse as a high-budget, character-driven action-adventure series which will resonate worldwide.”
The Gulliver Curse is an action adventure series based on the novel by Jonathan Swift, and follows Gulliver Sympson who opens a passageway to an alternate universe, bringing strange and supernatural perils into the world. The series will be filmed in Ireland, while visual effects and post-production will be completed in B.C.
About the Project Development Fund
The Project Development Fund provides non-recoupable advances to BC based production companies who meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Program Guidelines. The funds advanced must be used to develop film, television or digital media content which a broadcaster, distributor or other eligible triggering agent has committed, in writing, to advance cash for the current phase of development.
About Creative BC
Creative BC is an independent agency created and supported by the Province of BC to sustain and help grow BC’s creative sector (film and television, digital and interactive media, music, and magazine and book publishing industries). The agency delivers a wide range of programs and services to expand BC’s creative economy. These include the administration of the provincial government’s tax credit programs for film and television; development funding and export marketing support; and motion picture production services to attract inward investment and market BC as a destination for domestic and international production. The agency acts as an industry catalyst and ambassador to help BC’s creative sector reach its economic and creative potential both at home and globally.
Omnifilm Entertainment is a leading independent Canadian content company. Since 1979 Omnifilm has produced and distributed hundreds of hours of award-winning programming including drama, comedy, factual and lifestyle series, documentaries, and children’s programming. Current productions include: Season 2 of live-action adventure series MECH-X4 for Disney XD, Wild Bear Rescue for Animal Planet, and Season 3 of Jade Fever for Discovery Canada. Omnifilm’s recent scripted series include: Arctic Air (CBC); Primeval: New World (CTV/Space, SyFy Channel, ProSieben, and UKTV); Defying Gravity (ABC, CTV-Space, ProSieben, and BBC); Dragon Boys (CBC); and Robson Arms (CTV). One of Omnifilm’s earliest dramas, the Emmy-nominated Odyssey, featured a young Ryan Reynolds in one of his first starring roles. On the non-scripted side, multiple award-winning documentary series Ice Pilots NWT is currently airing on History Canada, Discovery UK, and in 61 other countries worldwide. Based in Vancouver, Omnifilm Entertainment is a vertically-integrated content company handling development, production and post-production, delivery, and distribution of its brands on both traditional television and digital/VOD platforms.
Subotica is one of Ireland’s leading film and TV production companies, with a proven track record of collaborating with industry best including Oscar and Bafta winners to create acclaimed international cinema. Subotica’s most recent productions include Unless (Alan Gilsenan, 2015) starring Catherine Keener and well received at TIFF this year, the beautiful Danish co-production Across the Waters (Nicolo Donato, 2015) All is by My Side (John Ridley, 2013) starring Andre Benjamin and Imogen Poots; Gold (Niall Heery, 2013) starring Maisie Williams;Young Ones (Jake Paltrow, 2013), starring Nicholas Hoult, and Elle Fanning and period feature Miss Julie (Liv Ullmann, 2014) which stars Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton. Operating since 1998, Subotica’s TV repertoire includes the eight-part TV Drama Random Passage (John Smith, 2001). They produced TV drama Proof (Ciaran Donnelly, 2004) which was recommissioned by RTE to produce a second series (Thaddeus O’Sullivan, 2005). Damage (Aisling Walsh, 2007) is a two hour TV drama for RTE starring Natalie Press and Olivia Williams, which also screened to excellent ratings and critical acclaim.
About Veritas Entertainment
Veritas Entertainment is a production company founded by Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen. The company has a robust slate of projects in various stages of development and pre-production which include the upcoming television adaptation of Tana French’s best selling novels about the “Dublin Murder Squad” written by Sarah Phelps and being co-produced in conjunction with Fremantle UK for both TNT and the BBC. Jaysen and Gasmer are also executive producing television adaptations of best-selling novels such as Ray Bradbury’s groundbreaking Fahrenheit 451 for HBO Films with Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) attached to write and direct, Ray Bradbury’s classic The Martian Chronicles with Hart Hanson (Bones) attached to write/showrun for IMG, Kevin Roose’s gripping expose of the “post crash” Wall Street in Young Money with Amitabh Klemm attached to write for TNT, and Michael Hassan’s buzzed about debut novel Crash and Burn with Aaron Zelman attached to write for Sony Television and Hulu.